Skeptical notes on a physics of passage

Authors
Nick Huggett
University of Illinois, Chicago
Abstract
This paper investigates the mathematical representation of time in physics. In existing theories time is represented by the real numbers, hence their formal proper- ties represent properties of time: these are surveyed. The central question of the paper is whether the existing representation of time is adequate, or whether it can or should be supplemented: especially, do we need a physics incorporating some kind of ‘dynamical passage’ of time? The paper argues that the existing mathematical framework is resistant to such changes, and might have to be rejected by anyone seeking a physics of passage. Then it rebuts two common arguments for incorporating passage into physics, especially the claim that it is an element of experience. Finally the paper investigates whether, as has been claimed, ‘causal set theory’ provides a physics of passage.
Keywords time  quantum gravity  perception  emergence  causal set theory  flow of time
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